R.J. from Pinellas County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Mister Condo replies:
R.J., the call for term limits for members for Board of Directors is almost as loud as the call for term limits on our elected officials in Washington and State Legislatures. Like most calls to action, the results have been varied. In 2017, the Florida Condominium Act was amended to limit Board Members service to 8 consecutive years. The change went into effect July 1, 2018. The resulting ambiguity has come from when the 8-year period begins as there was no wording about making it retroactively applicable. That means that while a Board member elected after July 1, 2018 is clearly limited to 8 consecutive years, Board members elected before then may only be affected by limiting them to the 8 consecutive years that followed July 1, 2018. So, if someone served for 10 years as of July 1, 2018, in theory, they could still serve another 8 consecutive years for a total of 18 and still be following the law! Some associations have challenged that assumption and have successfully had sitting Board members disqualified for additional consecutive service but these events have been on a case by case basis. To further complicate matters, there are exceptions to the rule, including the fact that a Board member can continue to serve beyond the 8-year limit if the 2/3 of the votes cast favor them doing so OR if there are no other eligible candidates to fil the vacancies on the Board. So, my answer is “you’re right but not always”! And, of course, things change. The 2017 revision that went into effect in 2018 could always change again, making the ruling retroactive or removing the provisions that allow a Board member to serve longer. My personal feeling is that less government is better and more volunteers are always better for the community but the community should be the ultimate decider of who sits on the Board, it is a democratic process and works perfectly when there are enough volunteer leaders from within the community willing and able to serve. All the best!